Yeah, so I'm Laurie. I am a software engineer for a company called 10 Miles Squared Technologies in the DC metro area. And we're a small consultancy, so I kind of do whatever is asked of me. And then as part of that role and a little bit, because I enjoyed doing it, I convinced them that, you know, it was okay for me to do it at work as well. I do technical blogging and speaking and kind of community outreach interaction stuff.
Yeah. Like Egghead videos and contributing to some other publications. And if you hear a little jingling in the backg.round, that is our brand new puppy Avett, who is being a bit of a terror right now as she gets used to .. Oh, she just came up right by the side me. Hi, sweetheart. As we get used to our new house,
I don't have to do the setup of like a bunch of different components, getting deployed into the cloud and deal with like, HTTP back and forth. And all those things like, it's great. And I am do it all the time when it's necessary. But if it isn't necessary, why add all that bulk and nonsense?
And don't get me wrong. I mean, I, I started in the Java back-end world. That was kind of my bread and butter. And so I've done Python, and I've done PHP, and I've done a bunch of different things. And they have their use cases. And they're incredibly important and incredibly powerful. But if all I'm doing is serving stuff that can exist in markdown, then there's absolutely no reason I need to build myself an API.
Yeah, I didn't have a lot of experience. In fact, I looked at and I said, Man, I hate this markdown thing that like a couple of my friends we're talking about and then everything's written and markdown for me now. So...
yeah, yeah, I I've gotten really used to it for formatting articles for Dev.to. But I still have not transitioned my site over. Because I'm not actually hosting that much in terms of content, I have kind of a YAML file for my speaking stuff, a YAML file for my Egghead lessons, a YAAML file for my blogs, and then I'm going to make a separate YAML file that's going to be like, external contributor publications, like CSS tricks, and that kind of stuff
Um, I've had not necessarily JAM... I guess it's sort of qualifies. I've done some headless CMS stuff, which I think is kind of like, it's using the JAMstack front end and pretending like it doesn't have a back end in a lot of cases even though it does. So little, that's a little bit different. But I kind of think of in the same world, and the other thing I have done is some kind of the gym sack stuff with with an occasional, you know, lambda thrown in there or whatever. That's more. That's more just a few functions to round stuff out. I don't know. I mean, I'm sure you saw it as @sarah_edo's. Or Why do I always say that; Sarah Drasner's write up on kind of an e commerce site where basically she was just using a couple functions to provide that which was great.
right, yeah, there's a lot of power there, though. I joked when I was reading through it, and I just joked on Twitter that I'm just going to read a blog post where I explain what the heck the difference between Nuxt Next and Nest is. Because clearly, I know so well, and never get confused. When I see those million identically named things referenced.
So so with with that kind of your you got a little bit in the cat professionals that you're using. But have you found that there's been any bleed over from the experiments and the personal site into the way that you do kind of more traditional software engineering?
Oh, no question. Um, I mean, for one, the ease of deployment with things like Netlify and Firebase and all of that has a lot of use for our clients in certain cases, especially when they're trying to throw things up quickly, and be able to deploy them kind of consistently. And by themselves without a lot of engineering knowledge, those tools are really fabulous.
And a lot of the, the way things are built in the JAMstack, and the fact that you're focused on kind of an insane level of separation of concerns, just because it's it's YAML; it's marked down. A lot of that architecture plays in and JAMstack got me comfortable with a lot of CSS concepts that I I hadn't had to play around with. Thank you grid, flexbox, transitions, all that kind of stuff, pseudo classes and stuff, were things that I in larger behemoth projects that had legacy CSS, and that kind of stuff weren't as applicable. And now that I was able to use them and kind of playground areas. I throw them in, in client projects all the time now.
I had my Jekyll site. And that was really easy to port over to Gatsby, there were a ton of tutorials online. And the hardest part about that was getting Gatsby image to work. And ever since I've written blog posts on it, I've contributed to the docs, all of that stuff. So hopefully, that won't be hard for the next set of people who try and set up all kinds of different Gatsby image things
So, one of the appeals of Gatsby for me was that I didn't need to know much. I didn't need to know some of the React magic to make it work, at least for the use cases I have. And I actually feel like I've gotten a much better understanding of some of the React component architecture and similar things as a result of being in the Gatsby space. And again, it's one of those you have a personal site, you try things you do them, right, you do them wrong. And you end up dipping your toes into it and and having this playground where you discover a lot of concepts that you didn't necessarily understand before.
Nice. And I've got I've got this kind of this FOMO issue happening with Gatsby because I'm not a particularly strong React Dev. But I love the idea that they have so many plugins already available, and they've only really been around a couple of years.
Yeah, definitely. And so so yeah, it seems like there's already something for every single use case you could possibly need almost it's almost getting to the point where it's like the early days of like, positive WordPress plugin ecosystem.
Exactly. Because it's all it's all developer focused, which is nice. So So what kind of is going to keep you in this JAMstack world? What what's what's, what's the thing that's going to anchor you in here,
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